County to respond to filings


Recent filings by Texas Central Partners at the state level has prompted the Madison County Commissioner’s Court to file documents in opposition to the railway’s plans.

According to a press release, Texas Central recently filed a formal petition to the STB, asking that the agency affirm its jurisdiction over the project and to weigh in on critical next steps that will include construction and operation of the passenger link between North Texas and Houston, with a midway stop in the Brazos Valley.

Texas Central is required to seek STB certification of the project, thus complying with the federal regulatory process that all newly constructed rail lines must follow, the release states.

This request does not seek to remove protections afforded to landowners under Texas law, the release states. It merely clarifies the STB procedures that Texas Central must follow and does not change or override any state landowner protections.

The STB will not issue a final decision until the environmental review is completed but Texas Central asked the board to issue an interim order as soon as practicable, the release states.

At a special meeting on Thursday, commissioners approved comments in opposition to the railway’s plans, and designated Commissioner Carl Cannon to file the reply.

The filing states that the county opposes the railway’s plans to seek expedited review and approval of their project, which would allow the company to commence land acquisition through the use of eminent domain.

Through their filing, the county reiterates its desire to protect the residents of the county and opposes the filings.

The county originally passed a resolution in March 2015 stating the project was not in the best interest of the county.

Additionally, last week Grimes County commissioners voted to go forward with a lawsuit against the railway company, claiming TCP performed without notification or permits in the county.